God, What Do You Have Planned?

Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! Psalm 139:16-17

I do not have time for, nor do I plan for trials, but they happen anyway! Funny how that works! It’s a good thing we have trials, seriously, as awful as they are. That’s how we learn to trust God, among many other benefits. That’s what I learned four years ago…

My husband and I were coming home from a beach vacation and life was glorious. He was sleeping and I was driving and belting out gospel tunes, having the time of my life. (Yes, he can sleep through my singing, lol!) Then…BAM!!! Yep! Someone t-boned us! I don’t remember how I got off the road and missed steering us down the steep embankment while also avoiding traffic coming in from the right and oncoming traffic. This was not how I saw our day going. I wish I could say I rejoiced in my trial but I didn’t. In shock, I did thank Him that we were not seriously injured!

Long story short, I had lots of questions for God about timing and trials and how to get back home with a totalled car. The contradiction of the beautiful day and the ugly accident eventually taught me something cool about God’s timing though…He has HIS own reasons and HIS own timing. HE made me and HE made time. He knows me, so He knows what trials will teach me and how much time they need to take. He loves us so much that He has it all figured out, even though we don’t! And that was, and is still, a comfort to me. Thank You, Lord!

Have you ever felt that way? Bewildered, unable to figure out the reason for a trial, have you begged God to end it? That’s when I feel like asking, “God, how much longer?” It’s like saying, “I trust You, God and I know YOU know what You are doing, but I am a bit anxious.” It is not unlike a child in the back seat of a car asking, “How much longer, Dad? or “Shouldn’t we be there by now?” I am reminded of David asking God to take away his trial…

How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? Psalm 13:1-2

David may have been frustrated with his trials, but he knew, deep down, that God loved Him:) He trusted God’s plan.

But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the Lord’s praise, for he has been good to me. Psalm 139:5-6

Friend, He has your life in His loving hands. May you find comfort in the fact that He is with you and has your best interest at heart. Have a wonderful day:)…Tina

Praying our Praise

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

I almost cried during a recent prayer! At my daughter’s bridal shower, I was asked to pray. Uh-oh, why didn’t I plan a special prayer? Up in front of everyone, behind the microphone, my brain whizzed. With a quick prayer, “Help me, Lord,”

I began thanking Him for all He did that caused everyone there to be in that gathering place on that special day of Kellie’s shower. Words would not come at first, but then my heart grew in gratefulness as I thanked God for His immense goodness over the years. These people in the room were special!

He brought my two daughters and I through a seemingly impossible situation. He supplied the right friends at the right time. Right pastors, mentors, coaches and godly men appeared in their life. Right teachers taught and befriended them and prayed and watched out for them. Parents of kids they themselves coached and still coach, have taken them into their friend and family units with love.

These things were no accident. God knew they needed those angel friends. What more could a Momma ask for?

That’s why I almost cried…because of His goodness through all the days and years. Do you ever do that… sit and marvel at how God has carried you and provided what you needed? Then you know what I mean!

This moving experience reminded me to not just be grateful, but to proclaim it publicly, to share how glorious God is, so I am attempting to do just that. To Him be all the glory for whatever His plan is!

David’s words remind us to TELL of our thanks:

Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love
    and his wonderful deeds for mankind.
Let them sacrifice thank offerings
    and tell of his works with songs of joy.
Psalm 107:121-122

The phrase, ‘Thank offering’ made me smile! Praising Him is a sort of thank offering, isn’t it? You never know…someone may need to hear YOUR thankfulness to a loving God in word or in song. All I know is…it makes God happy when WE know that HE knows it all and controls it all and we are happy about that! He is so faithful:)

I hope you have a great day knowing God is faithful and working in your life. Sometimes it is hard when things do not go as we expect. He is there with us always, though. Isn’t He the absolute best? Love and prayers to you all!…Tina

My Strength and Song

Bird, Singer, Singing, Chirp, Tweet, Chirrup, Robin

Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; ‘For Yah, the Lord, is my strength and song; He also has become my salvation.’ ”Therefore with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. Isaiah 12:2-3 NKJV

See the picture of that little bird? He is singing his little heart out! Do you ever do that when God blesses you real good? Do you, like me, not feel like singing your heart out in the bad times? It is tough, isn’t it! The emotion is not there.

But you know what IS there? God. His strength. His wisdom. His truth. His love. His Son. His Holy Spirit. We have so many resources at our disposal! And they are spiritual, never-ending resources! Even when we are going through trials and do not feel joy, we can still KNOW, without a single doubt, that God has our back. THAT is worth singing our little hearts out!

Because God is our strength(when we have none) He will give us a song to sing(when we have none.) What a good witness it would be to others if we sang through our trials because we knew who held us in His hand!

Dear Father, Although I do not have a trial now, I am sure there will be some to come. You tell us in Your Word that we will have problems. When those time comes, please help me do the impossible and sing my heart out to You. Remind me that I am not alone and not as weak as I feel, because You are my strength. You are awesome and I love You so much! I ask these things because I know You hear me and will answer as You will. Thank you, God! Amen

With love from the Father to you, have a great day. I pray you lean on the Lord each day, so you are able to sing about how good He is! If you have a favorite song that lifts you up, feel free to tell me what it is! Love, Tina

P.S. One of my favorite songs to sing is…My Faith Still Holds.

I thought I had to see and feel
To prove that what I loved was really real
A passion turned to ashes things I held to dust
I found reality in simple trust

My faith still holds on to the Christ of Calvary
Oh blessed Rock of Ages cleft for me
I gladly place my trust in things I can not see
My faith still holds on to the Christ of Calvary

I tried to find life’s mysteries
Just by the reason of my mind to see
But void remain between me and where I longed to be
‘Til childlike faith there built a bridge for me

And oh what joy to walk the way
I followed nailed pierced footprints all the way
Though the end of where I’m bound I may not see
I choose to place my trust in Calvary

My faith still holds on to the Christ of Calvary
Oh blessed Rock of Ages cleft for me
I gladly place my trust in things I can not see
My faith still holds on to the Christ of Calvary

Songwriters: Bill Gaither / Gloria L Gaither My Faith Still Holds lyrics © Gaither Music Co., Hanna Street Music

My Strength and Song

Bird, Singer, Singing, Chirp, Tweet, Chirrup, Robin

Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; ‘For Yah, the Lord, is my strength and song; He also has become my salvation.’ ”Therefore with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. Isaiah 12:2-3 NKJV

See the picture of that little bird? He is singing his little heart out! Do you ever do that when God blesses you real good? Do you, like me, not feel like singing your heart out in the bad times? It is tough, isn’t it! The emotion is not there.

But you know what IS there? God. His strength. His wisdom. His truth. His love. His Son. His Holy Spirit. We have so many resources at our disposal! And they are spiritual, never-ending resources! Even when we are going through trials and do not feel joy, we can still KNOW, without a single doubt, that God has our back. THAT is worth singing our little hearts out!

Because God is our strength(when we have none) He will give us a song to sing(when we have none.) What a good witness it would be to others if we sang through our trials because we knew who held us in His hand!

Dear Father, Although I do not have a trial now, I am sure there will be some to come. You tell us in Your Word that we will have problems. When those time comes, please help me do the impossible and sing my heart out to You. Remind me that I am not alone and not as weak as I feel, because You are my strength. You are awesome and I love You so much! I ask these things because I know You hear me and will answer as You will. Thank you, God! Amen

With love from the Father to you, have a great day. I pray you lean on the Lord each day, so you are able to sing about how good He is! If you have a favorite song that lifts you up, feel free to tell me what it is! Love, Tina

P.S. One of my favorite songs to sing is…My Faith Still Holds.

I thought I had to see and feel
To prove that what I loved was really real
A passion turned to ashes things I held to dust
I found reality in simple trust

My faith still holds on to the Christ of Calvary
Oh blessed Rock of Ages cleft for me
I gladly place my trust in things I can not see
My faith still holds on to the Christ of Calvary

I tried to find life’s mysteries
Just by the reason of my mind to see
But void remain between me and where I longed to be
‘Til childlike faith there built a bridge for me

And oh what joy to walk the way
I followed nailed pierced footprints all the way
Though the end of where I’m bound I may not see
I choose to place my trust in Calvary

My faith still holds on to the Christ of Calvary
Oh blessed Rock of Ages cleft for me
I gladly place my trust in things I can not see
My faith still holds on to the Christ of Calvary

Songwriters: Bill Gaither / Gloria L Gaither My Faith Still Holds lyrics © Gaither Music Co., Hanna Street Music

On the Way to Forever

Old man climbing heaven's stairs.

For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Romans 8:18 KJV

I came down to my office with a heavy urging to have God help me write something that matters, something that will encourage you and myself, too, something from the Word of God. Just saying those three words…Word of God…how blessed are we to have that resource of truth and hope?! Not only that, but we can have the Word and hope inside us, with us, every second of every day!

As humans, we forget that we are totally provided for and supported by God, especially when the enemy tempts us to fix things ourselves. We need to remember that God is our fix! We should also remember that our current sufferings are just that, current. They will not last forever!

We are on our way to forever and we need to suffer a bit, perhaps to appreciate God’s strength, Jesus’ teaching and the Holy Spirit’s guidance. It is too much for our brains to figure out all the whys of this world or life, but God has it all planned. Since we are on our way to forever, we can trust the One who made the forever plan!

Thank you for reading! I pray to the Father that you have a great day and holiday week and you feel the joy and hope of Jesus in your heart for now and always. He was born just for us! Love, Tina

Calling God

Ideas, Messages, Communication

And my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Now to our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen. Philippians 4:19-20 NKJV

I have a great friend who is intelligent and humble and brave. She knows how to do just about everything, but would be embarrassed for me to acknowledge her here, so mums the word. Unlike her, I can not watch a youtube video and fix a part in the back of my tv, nor can I remove a snake from my bathroom fan or decorate a house like I was the original Joanna Gaines. There is nothing she can’t do!

Though I do not have her abilities, I do know where to go for help when I need it. For example, I do not know how to fix a car, install windows or fix a computer, but… I can call on someone who does know. When we have a problem, we can attempt to find answers and try to fix it ourselves, if we are so gifted, or we can call someone who knows what we do not.

Many times, we need spiritual answers. Our soul needs fixing. Even my smart friend cannot fix her own soul Truthfully, she would be the first to tell you so and point you straight to God! Aren’t you glad we can call on God for our souls? He is the only One who can fix everything we cannot. He knows absolutely everything and can fix anything, even and especially, us!

May we all go to Him every chance we get, because we all need His expertise:)

Christina

Consider the Birds

Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly

Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying

can add one cubit to his stature? Matthew 6:26-27 NKJV

Ever wake up to a “bird alarm?” Lately, a feathered friend has taken it upon himself to be our personal alarm clock. He is considerate enough to sit right by our window, so we don’t miss the beautiful (but annoying) alarm. As I write, he is loudly chirping his little heart out in the total darkness. Why? I am not sure, but at 4:15 in the morning, it isn’t so well received by my husband and me. Then God reminds me that He made the birds and they do not toil or spin. I can believe that! This bird is singing as if the sun is brightly shining and all is great in his world.

Jesus wants us to consider the birds. He wants us to be free from worry because worry takes our songs away. Instead, it is better to be like birds and know He will take care of us. When we release our worry and trust Him, He fills us with His peace, a peace that is based on what never changes. God is always with us and will take care of us. When we realize that, we can be like birds and declare something beautiful, even in the dark.

Have a blessed Monday. May our good God give you a song to declare:)

Christina

God’s Dough

Natural Gluten Free Play Dough Recipe (Vegan, Playdoh Alternative) |  Against All Grain - Delectable paleo recipes to eat & feel great

Did you ever have Play Doh as a kid? Did you ever eat it? I have a couple friends, who shall remain nameless, that liked to eat it although that was not the purpose! For those who did not play with this “magical dough,” it was so fun! You pick your color of Play Doh, then pick a plastic shape you want the dough to become. When you press the plastic cookie-cutter shape into the dough, the dough is no longer a blob, it is the shape you intended it to be.

This process is much like our relationship to God because we get “pressed on” to become what He desires. We are the blob of dough! God chooses the plan for our life and presses us into what He wants us to be. He will use whatever tool or experience He deems necessary that will allow us to become something that pleases Him. Play Doh makes me think about God’s plans for us!

God makes us on purpose. We are not random creations. There is no one else like you. There is no one else like me. The One God made us uniquely one of a kind. Yesterday, in my She Writes For Him conference, our writing instructor, Cynthia Cavanaugh, made a simple statement. “There is noone else like you with your story.” Doesn’t that make you feel a little more important as a part of God’s plan? And doesn’t it make that thought more reverent, holy and special that God, our creator loves us enough to make us unique and different from each other?

Know ye that the Lord is God; it is He that has made us, and not we ourselves. We are his people, and the sheep of his flock. Psalm 99:3

God presses into us but sometimes we pull back. Yes, us, the dough, the blob! We try to pull back from what God may have for us. I have done it many times myself because it was too scary. I thought I could see what God was doing and I pulled back because I did not want to be what He seemed to be making me. I was too afraid to totally let Him have control. I mean, shouldn’t I approve His plan first? What if I don’t feel capable of doing a ministry that takes my time every single day? Oh, wait, that is what I am doing now and He is carrying me! He does that! I feel sometimes I am just along for a willing ride and He is taking me places I did not know I would like! Have you ever felt that way? Sometimes He allows life trials that threaten to make us lose our way. Even then, we can let Him have control. There is great peace in accepting His plan!

…In the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, till the storms of destruction pass by. I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me. Psalm 57:1-2

We do not know God’s purpose all the time. Play Doh sure does not know, nor can it make itself into what I plan for it to be. When God presses into us and allows things to shape us, when the Holy Spirit nudges us one way or another and when we see that God is impressing us for His purposes, we see that He is making us into what He wants us to become. Just as Play Doh is not nearly intelligent enough to know what we can may make of it…we are not intelligent or wise enough to know what God can make of us if we will just let Him do His work. But, we can ask Him for His wisdom!

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. James 1:5

How can we do that, actively let God do His work? We can willingly go and do what He is impressing us to do. The Bible says God made man in His own image, so we are like God already. Wow! (But there is a BUT…) But if we want to be more like God, we need His character. Jesus set the perfect example for us. He was a copy of God in human form. We see the shape we are meant to be by reading in the Bible what Jesus said and did. We can see His heart, the heart of God. So now, we can either decide to try and make ourselves into what we are determined to make of ourselves or we can put our trust in our Creator. The way that David does this is to take action! Notice the bolded words below as he delights and meditates and fixes His eyes on God’s ways!

In the way of your testimonies I delight as much as in all riches. I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. Psalm 119:14-15

Have you, like me, determined that God’s ways and plans are scary at times? It is an “Adventure of Trust.” (Thank you, Lord for that wonderful thought, btw…) Do you have all things figured out or do you, like me, have some serious delighting and meditating and fixing of my eyes to do? As a fellow blob of dough to another, let’s allow ourselves to be shaped!

Dear Father God,

You are such a great Father! Where do we begin, to tell You how much we love You and why? You just have everything in control and are working in our own individual lives for Your own wonderful purposes. That makes us all feel so special to You! Thank You for making us uniquely qualified to do Your will for us. Forgive us, please, when we get scared of what You are asking us to do. We want to be more like willing dough. As You press into us, help us to remember You are making us that way for a reason. When our trials are too hard to understand, shine Your light into our hearts and give us hope. We will press into You too, so we walk away imprinted with the likeness of You. You are almost too wonderful to comprehend, yet we love trying to do so! A personal request… Please bless my conference mentors and friends with an amazing day of glorifying You through words that you give them and us. May we become what You intend. We love you so much! Amen

Love and prayers to all. Have a blessed day of being a piece of beautiful dough for God!

Just me. Just His.

Tina

Choosing Our Trials

November 7, 2020

Wouldn’t it be great to be able to choose our own trials? If we could, we wouldn’t choose the ones we have now, most likely. We would choose trials that made sense to have, ones that didn’t last long and ones that didn’t make us too uncomfortable. We don’t like to feel discomfort or suffering. We are human that way.

We are also, as humans, self-centered, in that we want to understand and control our lives and plan what is in our life. We do not plan for trials because we don’t want them. They often surprise us at the worst times. But maybe we should…plan for trials that is. Sounds crazy right? Why would we want to plan to have trials?

Because the more capable we are of understanding the purpose of our trials, the more we can glorify God in them.

The Lord gave me these thoughts today. I would like to share them with you.

  1. God wants us to lean on Him for understanding. God does the directing. We do the leaning. We lean on God’s wisdom, not our own. The word acknowledge generally means to “accept something that exists or is true.” (Oxford American Dictionary) God exists and is truth and is worthy of our trust.

Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge HIM and He shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

2. God wants us to listen, to just sit still. God does the speaking. We do the listening with a quiet soul so we can hear what He is saying. This exalts Him.

Be still, and know that I am GOD; I will be EXALTED among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth! Psalm 46:10

3. God wants us to learn from Him. We take His yoke and go where He intends. We are harnessed to Him, not unlike oxen that are yoked together to make the load lighter for both of them. (The Woman’s Study Bible by Thomas Nelson) In this way, God gives us relief from our burdens.

Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find REST for your souls. For my yoke is EASY and my burden is LIGHT. Matthew 11:29

4. In summary, God wants us to copy Him. He set the example and now it is our job to copy it.

Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me-put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:9

Dear Father God,

You are awesome. Words can’t express how much I love You. Thanks You for providing in Your word all that I need to know, to live a righteous life with You as the guide. I will be quiet my heart and mouth more often and listen for Your words. I will lean to, listen for and learn from you. I am yoked to You for Your glory to be shown. Thank You for all of my blessings and even my trials. They make me NEED You more. You know best. You are God! Amen

Journal Homework- Write a four-part prayer. Tell God how much you love Him, Thank Him for Your blessings and your trials, ask Him to guide you and, fourth…listen for what He has to say to you.

A pastor of mine taught me that part of prayer is listening, perhaps the greatest part because it is not self-seeking. It is allowing God to reign supreme as you acknowledge you need His guidance.

Love and prayers,

Tina